Avoiding the summer slide takes parental involvement, teachers say. Here are some of their tips.
According to teachers, the long summer break often leads to a breakdown of skills learned over the past year, the so-called “summer slide.” It can set students back when entering the next grade, forcing teachers to re-teach skills they should already have. The common cause is that children don’t engage with any sort of learning for 2-3 months, and then are expected to jump right back into good scholastic habits.
According to research conducted by the Brookings Institution, on average, students’ achievement scores decline over summer vacation by one month’s worth of school-year learning.
How to help your kid avoid the summer slide?
Keep them learning. Take any little chance to engage them in experimenting, or looking up answers. It doesn’t matter to what, just keep their minds engaged as learners.
Involve them in community-based programs. Summer school is an option for students who won’t view that as a punishment, but even day camp will have educational value. It will help keep them in the mindset of working with other students to expand what they know.
Keep them reading. Again, it doesn’t matter what, so long as it’s not just their social media feeds. Comic books, novels, the newspaper. A habit of regular, engaged reading is one of the most important educational habits a person can have.
Be personally engaged with your children. Summer can be taxing on parents, since work doesn’t take a two month holiday every year. But being involved with what your children are doing each day, doing things with them, gives you the opportunity to make fun things like walks outdoors or trips to the beach into learning experiences. Cooking together can be a science class. Even watching TV together gives you the chance to discuss what your kid is seeing and help them learn from it. All of these will help you keep education a year-round process and skip the summer slide.